Lightfoot Shrugs Off Trump Demand To Fully Reopen Schools

Craig Dellimore
July 08, 2020 - 4:31 pm

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot; President Donald Trump (Getty Images)

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday said she’s not paying any heed to pressure from the White House to fully open public schools this fall.

President Trump this week urged state and local officials to get all the nation’s schools open for in-person learning by September. He even Tweeted a threat that he might cut funding to school districts that fail to do so.

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Lightfoot says opening classrooms will be a local decision, and the city doesn’t yet know what will happen this fall at Chicago Public Schools.

“Candidly, I don’t put much weight into what President Trump says, particularly given his lack of leadership over the course of this pandemic,” the mayor said.

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Observers say it’s Congress that determines federal funding for schools.

Testifying before a Congressional committee, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker sounded similar notes, saying the state will rely on health officials’ guidance about what’s best for students.

Illinois government is encouraging school districts to reopen in the fall, using state guidelines and working with county health departments.